Grey Direct Re-brands

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As part of a Grey Worldwide's global re-branding of its specialized marketing services under the name G2 Worldwide,  Grey Direct, the direct marketing arm of Grey Worldwide, has unveiled a new name and a new look. Grey Direct will now be known as G2 direct & digital.

The agency said a unified network will allow for seamless integration with its sister company, Grey Worldwide, and will help the network of specialized marketing services agencies collaborate more closely.

"Grey Direct is going through a global re-branding effort and is being re-branded G2 direct & digital to better align all our global "below-the-line" operations and better reflect our current service offering," said Lawrence M. Kimmel, chairman-CEO of G2 direct & digital.

G2 direct & digital has 86 offices in 42 countries. Names like Grey Zest, its agency in Brazil; Grrrey!, its agency located in Paris; and argonauten360, its agency in Germany, will go away, and those agencies will take on the G2 moniker.

"It makes it easier for us to operate and work together," Kimmel said. "We become more harmonious in the way we work together." A big part of the re-branding exercise is getting the word out that the direct agency has online capabilities as well as direct marketing expertise. "The addition of digital in our name is helpful for the marketplace to understand what it is we have been doing for years," Kimmel said. "We wanted to make sure the world has a broader understanding of what we at Grey Direct do." G2 as a name itself is not entirely new. It has existed for about five years as a retail marketing and promotions agency within the Grey agency network. G2 direct & digital's clients include Adobe, BellSouth, Pfizer and 3M.

The branding transition is expected to be completed by the end of summer.

Joe Celia, chairman-CEO of G2 Worldwide, said the companies under the G2 brand are all dedicated to what he calls "activation marketing."

"Every communication solution that we deliver is designed to create some level of action or interaction with the consumer," Celia said, in a statement.

One analyst said Grey is playing catch-up with the competition. "Ogilvy did that a long time ago with Ogilvy Direct becoming OgilvyOne, combining direct and interactive," said Andrew Frank, research director at Gartner.

Frank said more important than a name change is an ad agency's ability to keep up with massive changes taking place in media and advertising. "There's still a debate going on whether Internet and online media is an evolutionary change, or a revolutionary change that will disrupt a lot of the traditional agency business,” Frank said. “A name change doesn't necessarily begin to address that question.

"The real story behind the story is the convergence of sales and advertising on the internet,” he said. He added the Internet is a medium that is transactional and has branding power. Those two worlds within agencies need to come together, he said.

"The agencies need to figure out a way of organizing themselves that does not create silos around the type of medium," Frank said. They need to figure out new ways to divide up the market. Media is no longer a good way to create divisional structures."

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